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Richmond WW1 Diary 1 May 1918

May Day | In 1918, May Day embraced its modern identity as a celebration of The Workers. In newly Soviet Russia, celebrating the October Revolution of the previous year, mass parades took place in Moscow and Petrograd (St Petersburg). The celebration was somewhat muted, with the acceptance the recent Brest-Litovsk peace treaty, which had cost…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 9 April 1918

German offensive in Flanders launched | Germany’s final gamble for victory began with the St Michael Offensive, named after the patron saint of Germany. The Armistice with Russia in March 1918 had freed up many men who had been fighting on the Eastern Front. Germany now directed those soldiers to the Western Front. On 9…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 5 January 1918

  Food Shortages | As war dragged on and shortages of basic commodities including paper, fuel, and food increased, the British government introduced nationwide rationing. Despite rationing supplies, prices climbed and by May 1917, food process were almost twice those of July 1914. This severely impacted morale, and public attitudes to anyone flouting the new…

One man sits on a plough while another drives a tractor pulling the plough and a third man walks alongside

Richmond WW1 Diary 1 September 1917

Richmond Park | Even the beloved leafy spaces of Richmond were affected by the war. In 1916, the South African Military Hospital opened in Richmond Park. The same year, in a bid to ‘Dig for Victory’, some seventy acres of the Park were ploughed up for allotments. And on 1 September 1917, the Herald reported…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 7 July 1917

Bomb raids pass over Richmond | Although air raids are more commonly associated with the Second World War, German planes pursued a strategic bombing campaign during the First World War. However, although the planned targets were military, such as training camps and munitions factories, location equipment on board the planes were so poor, bombs often fell…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 16 June 1917

The Richmond communal kitchen opens |  The Herald of 16 June 1917 reported on the Mayor’s Food Economy Committee announcement that they would be opening the Richmond Communal Kitchen at St John’s House, Clarence Street, for the sale of dinners at twelve o’clock (noon). The paper emphasised that the kitchen was not a charity, but part…

Crowds of mostly women climbing the stairs to fit onto an omnibus

Richmond WW1 Diary 13 May 1917

London bus drivers strike |  In May 1917, Richmond was affected by the London-wide strike by bus drivers. Unrest had been growing as the war dragged on and wages failed to keep pace with the rising costs of food and basic necessities. In February 1915 in Scotland, Clydeside armament workers went out for higher pay.…